Daniil Medvedev booed by Paris crowd in loss to Gregor Dimitrov

Associated Press
Nov 1, 2023, 11:53 AM ET
3 Minute Read

Medvedev on apparent crowd middle finger: I just checked my nails

Daniil Medvedev denies raising a middle finger to the crowd after an ill-tempered second round defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the Paris Masters.

PARIS — Daniil Medvedev dropped out of contention for the year-end No. 1 ranking by losing to Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2) in the second round of the Paris Masters on Wednesday, and then was booed off the court after remonstrating with the crowd during the match.

The crowd got under Medvedev’s skin in the 11th game of the second set, jeering him as he was about to serve after he had thrown his racket. The third-ranked Russian went back to his chair and complained to the referee before talking directly to the spectators in French.

“If there’s one who whistles, I don’t’ play,” Medvedev told the crowd. “You don’t whistle, I play. So, you shut your mouths.”

From that moment, the crowd overwhelmingly threw its support behind Dimitrov, and Medvedev appeared to make a rude hand gesture toward some spectators as he walked off the court after the loss.

“I play in Bercy much better when there is no crowd at all in attendance,” Medvedev joked at his news conference, referring to winning the Paris Masters title in 2020 during the pandemic in an empty arena. “That’s the only time I won the tournament.”

Dimitrov lost to Medvedev in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Austria last week, but the Bulgarian hit 45 winners on Wednesday compared to 22 for the Russian, who double-faulted eight times.

Dimitrov whipped a forehand passing shot to break for a 4-2 lead in the final set but he failed to serve out the match at 5-3 as Medvedev saved four match points, including one 47-shot rally.

Medvedev saved two more match points on his serve at 6-5 but Dimitrov jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the decisive tiebreaker and converted his seventh match point with a forehand volley.

That leaves No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz as the only player who can overtake Novak Djokovic as No. 1 at the end of the season, but the Spaniard’s chances also took a hit when he lost to qualifier Roman Safiullin on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the 12th-seeded Tommy Paul can no longer qualify for the ATP Finals after losing to qualifier Botic Van de Zandschulp 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. The 11th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz cruised past Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-2 to stay in contention for the three remaining spots at the eight-man tournament that will be played in Turin from Nov. 12-19.

Before the Paris Masters, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev had already qualified for the ATP Finals.

Djokovic was playing Tomas Martin Etcheverry later.


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